Geography, Venture Capital, and Public Policy: Can Publically Supported Entrepreneurship Succeed?

March 24, 2010

Josh Lerner, Schiff Professor of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School, Author, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do About It(2009, Princeton University Press)

About half of all U.S. venture capital firms as well as about half of all companies financed by those firms are located in just three metropolitan areas: San Francisco/San Jose, Boston, and New York. Moreover, compared to the total amount of money invested, venture-backed companies make outsized contributions to their local economies. Recognizing this, many states and localities are actively trying to retain existing venture capital firms and attract new ones. What can those efforts learn from previous successful and failed efforts to spur entrepreneurial activity?

Cosponsored by the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, The Office of Career Advancement, and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government